Never ending story

I read at Experimental Theology in a comment from Ragamuffin Me:-

“How can Jesus be the “eternally begotten” Son”

My answer would be “In the same way as he is the eternally dying Son”.

In a recent post I wrote “In the first century, Christ was crucified by men who sinned at the behest of other men who sinned; today he is crucified again every time harm is done to any human being anywhere. We, humanity, crucified him by, not for, our sin, and we are still doing it every minute of every hour of every day.”

Paul writes strongly of “Christ in us”, for example Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the Life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”, and of “us in Christ”, for example 2 Cor. 5:17-21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

I dismiss the obvious suggestion that Paul is only speaking to Christians here, and that anyone not a Christian cannot be thought of as being “in Christ” or of having “Christ in” them. It is only in this way that I think that Matthew 25, vv 31-40  “Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ And the King will answer them ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ ” can make sense. Only if Christ can already be found in any of these people can he speak in this way.

Where I differ from Paul’s conception, therefore, is that I think our death and rebirth in Christ is a process of realisation, an internal, psychological process, the identity being there in the first place. We can therefore ourselves be eternally begotten and eternally dying with Christ in a constant process of self-realisation, of self-correction, of self-perfection.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.